Chess Puzzle of the Week (189)

Shoosmith – Ward
City of London CC Championship 1906
Black to play

Continuing, and perhaps concluding, my series of puzzles taken from the games of William Ward, one of the strongest English players in the early 20th century, and (briefly, it seems) a member of Richmond Chess Club, do tell me how you’d continue with Black in this position.

If you think you’ve found the correct answer, feel free to get in touch, but please don’t post your solution in public.

Solving tactical puzzles of this nature on a regular basis is one of the best ways to improve your chess.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (188): Solution

Mongredien – Ward
City of London CC Championship 1908
Black to play

This game continued 15… Bxh3 16. Kxh3 Qe6+ 17. Kh2 Ng4! 18. Kh1 Nxf2+ 19. Rxf2 Bxf2 20. Qf3 (to prevent Qh3#) 20… Bxh4 and Black soon won.

Very nice, too, but there’s a big problem with this.

I wonder how many of you were, like William Ward, tempted into playing 15… Bxh3??, overlooking, as both players did in the game, that 16. Qf3! would have tuned the tables, winning two minor pieces for a rook.

Black’s best continuation would have been 15… Qd7! (not Qe6, which will meet a future Bc4) 16. Qf3 Nh7! followed by Ng5, leaving Black with the two bishops and a better pawn formation.

To gain full credit you had to find this variation as well as the refutation of 15… Bxh3. If you wanted to play this unsound sacrifice, go to the bottom of the class!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (188)

Mongredien – Ward
City of London CC Championship 1908
Black to play

Another puzzle taken from one of William Ward’s games.

It’s Black’s move here. How would you assess this position? What are your candidate moves? Having taken this into consideration, what would you play?

Do get in touch and let me know!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (187): Solution

Davidson – Ward
City of London Club Championship 1913
Black to play

In last week’s puzzle, William Ward won as follows:

17… Nf3+! 18. gxf3 Qxf4 19. fxg5 Be5! 20. Rfe1 Qh2+ 21. Kf1 Rae8 (21… Qh3+ was also winning) and Black won a few moves later.

Well played if you found the correct solution!

I’m currently writing a series of articles about William Ward, one of the strongest English players in the early years of the 20th century, and, probably only briefly, a member of Richmond Chess Club. You can read the first article here.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (187)

Davidson – Ward
City of London Club Championship 1913
Black to play

William Ward is a forgotten name today, but in the years before the First World War he was one of the strongest players in the country, and, in 1902, played for Richmond Chess Club in the Surrey Trophy.

I’m currently researching his life and games for a series of articles for British Chess News. Do look for these and learn more about one of our Great Predecessors.

Here’s a position from one of his best games. Can you work out how he continued from this position?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (186): Solution

Norwood – Gelfand
Arnhem 1987

David Norwood played 35. Qe7? here, which should have held, but he eventually lost.

There was a win with 35. Qd8+!! Rxd8 36. Rxd8+ Bf8 37. Rxf8+!! (37. g5 Kg7 38. Ne8+ is a draw) 37… Kg7 38. Re8! and Black has no satisfactory defence to the slow threat of 39. g5 and 40. Rg8#.

This puzzle was taken from Attacking Strategies for the Club Player by Michael Prusikin. My review of this book has just been published: you can read it here.

If you found the solution, congratulations! If not, read the book and improve your attacking skills!

Gavin Wall Simul

International Master Gavin Wall has been Richmond’s top board for many years. For Covid-related reasons it’s been some time since he last gave a simultaneous display so it was great to welcome him back.

The evening was very successful. Gavin took on 16 opponents, alternating colours. He won 12 games, drew 2, to Andrew Hebron and Simon Illsley, and lost two, to TVA player of the season Maks Gajowniczek and teenage star Paul Bennett.

It was good to welcome Simon back: he had been a contemporary of Gavin at Richmond Junior Club back in 1977 and we hope he’ll be playing for us next season.

Here’s Maks’s win:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Qa4 d6 7. e5 dxe5 8. Nxe5 Bd7 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bc4 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. Bf4 Nd5 13. Nxd5 cxd5 14. Bb5 Bxb5 15. Qxb5 e6 16. c3 Qb6 17. a4 Rfc8 18. Rfd1 Rc4 19. Be3 Qc7 20. Qa6 Be5 21. g3 h5 22. Rd3 Rc6 0-1

Here’s Gavin as the display is about to begin. You’ll find more photographs in the Gallery.

If you enjoyed this event, you might be interested in a similar event hosted by our neighbours at West London Chess Club next month:

On Wednesday 6th July West London Chess Club will host a simultaneous exhibition by grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev (rated 2445). Alexander will take on all comers at the Chiswick Town Hall (upstairs Committee Room) from 7:30 p.m.  Alexander became an international master in 1993 and a grandmaster in 2004. He has lived in the UK since 1999 and is the author of books on The Old Indian and Samisch Kings Indian openings as well as biographies of chess masters David Janowski and Harry Pillsbury. 

The fee for players will be £15. It is not every day that you get to play a grandmaster, so if you want to secure a place then please contact me and I reserve you a place. First come, first served. 

Andy Hayler
Secretary
West London Chess Club

email: andy@andyhayler.com

Chess Puzzle of the Week (186)

Norwood – Gelfand
Arnhem 1987

White to play: what should the result be with best play? Provide some analysis to support your answer!

This, like last week’s puzzle, is taken from Attacking Strategies for the Club Player by Michael Prusikin (New in Chess). My review of this book will be published on British Chess News shortly.

Let me know if you think you’ve found the answer – but no spoilers, please!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (185): Solution

Carmen Voicu (2296) – Nino Batsiashvili (2405)
European Womens’ Championship Belgrade 2013
White to play

This game concluded 26. Rxf7!! Kxf7 27. Qe6+ Kf8 28. Be4! (28. Rf1+ Bf6 29. Be4 Kg7 30. Bxg6!! Kxg6 31. Rf4! also wins) 28… Bxd4 29. Bxg6! Ne5 30. Rf1+ Kg7 31. Rf7+! with mate in a few moves.

To gain full credit you had to spot the second rook sacrifice on f7. If you found this, well done!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (185)

Carmen Voicu (2296) – Nino Batsiashvili (2405)
European Womens’ Championship Belgrade 2013
White to play

Another test of your tactical ability this week. How did White defeat her higher rated opponent in this position?

Let me know if you think you’ve found the complete solution.